Stations with No Data Available

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garyan2

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Stations with No Data Available

#1

Post by garyan2 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:21 am

Question for the EPG123 community.

I had recently got an email from Schedules Direct concerning some tickets for stations that have no guide data. These stations are typically your LOOR (Local Origination), GOAC (Government Access),... basically your local community stations. They had asked their upstream provider about them and they said they are not going to create data for those stations. I read that to mean if the station doesn't provide them any guide data, then Gracenote is not going to make an effort to fill in the empty.

Schedules Direct has offered to create filler data for those stations with a suggestion of 24 1-hour programs each day titled "TBD" or "Sign Off". I would prefer "No Data Available" myself, but am asking for your opinions.

I think there is some risk to this approach, but I can discuss that with SD about the technical stuff. I don't want a valid station all of a sudden get TBD programs just because the upstream had a little hiccup. The alternative of doing nothing is that everyone's status bug will be yellow because all those local stations will have no data.

Comments? Suggestions?
- Gary
Stomping out the Rovi disease, one media center at a time. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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d00zah

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#2

Post by d00zah » Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:38 am

"No Data Available"/"No Data Provided" works for me. I have an open ticket w/ SD regarding these channels, but hadn't heard any determination. Thanks.

FWIW For the rare occasions where anyone might need to know, TVGuidedotcom still lists programming for these channels.

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#3

Post by StinkyImp » Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:12 pm

A few years ago I reported a recently added channel to Schedules Direct. In that particular case the provider refused to release their schedule to Gracenote. I would have preferred to see "No Data Available" so that's my vote. :)

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#4

Post by rimmel » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:55 pm

I have noticed that the epg123 status icon have been yellow for some time now and always for the same local channels. Based upon your explanation of this issue "No Data Available" describes what's actually happening here. "TBD" and "Sign Off" do not. So I would opt for your suggestion. Has there been any indication from SD on how long it would take to implement this change?

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#5

Post by garyan2 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:31 pm

We haven't discussed any kind of schedule, but once it is determined what we want and it is safe, rkulagow is pretty quick. Probably be only a few days to code and test. He usually sets up a shadow server so we make sure it works as expected and try to break it. If it doesn't break, then pushing it live it nearly transparent.
- Gary
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#6

Post by Space » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:31 pm

"No Data Available" is what is listed when WMC detects no listings at all for a timeslot (I believe). So it might be better to have something that differentiates this condition from a condition where it's the provider that does not have any listings for a timeslot/channel.

Perhaps "Schedule unavailable" or something like that. Another possible one is "XXXX Programming" (where XXXX is the station ID) which is already used as a placeholder when the programming is unknown (this may be a Rovi thing?). However, if it will be EPG123 creating the 1-hour programs, then, personally, I would prefer to see something unique to it, so you can tell the difference between "placeholder" data set by the provider and "placeholder" data set by EPG123. Of course the normal user probably doesn't care, but it's good to know who is doing what when you are trying to troubleshoot an issue (is EPG123 setting this, or is the provider setting this, or is it set at the data source?).

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#7

Post by rimmel » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:32 am

After looking a little closer at this issue on my system I noticed that in addition to GOAC and LOOR channels, EDAC and LEAC channels are also affected. I think EDAC is educational programming, but I have no idea what LEAC is. See the channels affected on my system below. Will these other channel types also be included in this fix?

Code: Select all

 
[6/27/2019 5:50:46 PM] [WARNG] Failed to parse the schedule Md5 return for stationId 22218 (GOAC005) on 2019-06-28 and after.
[6/27/2019 5:50:46 PM] [WARNG] Failed to parse the schedule Md5 return for stationId 23322 (LOOR014) on 2019-06-28 and after.
[6/27/2019 5:50:46 PM] [WARNG] Failed to parse the schedule Md5 return for stationId 22129 (EDAC015) on 2019-06-28 and after.
[6/27/2019 5:50:46 PM] [WARNG] Failed to parse the schedule Md5 return for stationId 22130 (EDAC016) on 2019-06-28 and after.
[6/27/2019 5:50:46 PM] [WARNG] Failed to parse the schedule Md5 return for stationId 22131 (EDAC017) on 2019-06-28 and after.
[6/27/2019 5:50:46 PM] [WARNG] Failed to parse the schedule Md5 return for stationId 22132 (EDAC018) on 2019-06-28 and after.
[6/27/2019 5:50:46 PM] [WARNG] Failed to parse the schedule Md5 return for stationId 22133 (EDAC019) on 2019-06-28 and after.
[6/27/2019 5:50:46 PM] [WARNG] Failed to parse the schedule Md5 return for stationId 23754 (LEAC079) on 2019-06-28 and after.
[6/27/2019 5:50:46 PM] [WARNG] Failed to parse the schedule Md5 return for stationId 23388 (LOOR080) on 2019-06-28 and after.
[6/27/2019 5:50:46 PM] [WARNG] Failed to parse the schedule Md5 return for stationId 23756 (LEAC081) on 2019-06-28 and after.
[6/27/2019 5:50:46 PM] [WARNG] Failed to parse the schedule Md5 return for stationId 22308 (GOAC095) on 2019-06-28 and after.
[6/27/2019 5:51:09 PM] [WARNG] Failed to parse the schedule Md5 return for stationId 102704 (LOOR1086) on 2019-06-28 and after.
[6/27/2019 5:51:09 PM] [WARNG] Failed to parse the schedule Md5 return for stationId 102705 (GOAC1090) on 2019-06-28 and after.

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d00zah

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#8

Post by d00zah » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:43 am

SWAG - Law Enforcement?

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garyan2

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#9

Post by garyan2 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:58 am

I would guess Local Education Access... the station should have a long name associated in your guide to answer that question.

Here's a message from Schedules Direct to consider:

Code: Select all

Gracenote doesn't offer me a flag to know whether a station is deliberately empty or not; they would only say that PEG, LOOR, GOAC stations might now be blank depending on whether the upstream provides them with data. So I can just have my schedule generator code check if it's one of those, and create either 24 or 48 filler programs or however many, so that users can still have a schedule that's full.
Since it's custom, I could make the actual text of the program be whatever.

Program: Schedule not provided by station Episode title: No schedule available.
Description100: This program deliberately left blank.
Here is my thinking:

I would prefer not to have any data, not even filler data, for the stations without guide listings. It forces the user to create a Manual Recording which won't have issues with being a "Repeat" or "New" or dealing with unique IDs. It will record what you want and not fail for some logic that makes it think it has already recorded the "program" and it is in your "Recorded TV" folder already.

With SD commenting about having the callsign being a gate to generate the filler data or not, it lead me to think that I could do the same, but for just determining whether to report a warning or not. I would have a field in the cfg file of station prefixes to suppress warnings for missing guide data (and make them information only). I think this will be completely safe and functional.

Any downsides?
- Gary
Stomping out the Rovi disease, one media center at a time. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#10

Post by garyan2 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:56 am

rimmel wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:32 am
After looking a little closer at this issue on my system I noticed that in addition to GOAC and LOOR channels, EDAC and LEAC channels are also affected.
@rimmel: could you let me know what your lineup is? I would like to test out some code and having that many channels with this issue will probably help.

Thank you,
- Gary
Stomping out the Rovi disease, one media center at a time. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#11

Post by rimmel » Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:52 am

My lineup is "USA-WA46544-X". Hope that helps!

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#12

Post by garyan2 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:59 am

rimmel wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:52 am
My lineup is "USA-WA46544-X". Hope that helps!
Thank you!
garyan2 wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:58 am
I would guess Local Education Access... the station should have a long name associated in your guide to answer that question.
Nope, I was wrong. It is "Leased Access".
- Gary
Stomping out the Rovi disease, one media center at a time. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#13

Post by kyl416 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:56 pm

Here's the full list of generic channels that Gracenote/TMS uses that are likely affected by this and the generic program they have listed for each channel:
EDAC = Educational Access
GOAC = Government Access
LEAC = Leased Access
LOAC = Local Access
LOOR = Local Origination
PEG = Public, Educational, Government Access
PPV = Pay-Per-View
PUAC = Public Access
SPALT = Sports Alternate

These channels are either labeled by that alone or have numbers after them i.e. PEG024 or PPV467.

They mainly appear for providers that use someone other than Gracenote like Rovi or FYI on their settop boxes like Dish, Centurylink and U-Verse, so they don't provide Gracenote listings for their "in house" channels. If you want an easy one to check, try looking for DISH lineups, ever since they switched to Rovi a lot of their in house and obscure international channels have been replaced by LOOR, SPALT and PPV entries. FiOS also uses the PEG channels for their town specific channels.

If you want to replicate what Gracenote used to provide for these channels, they had these generic programs scheduled in 4 hour blocks starting at 6am ET.

Also, if you do implement this, please make it an option we can turn off, and make sure you safe guard against channels that do have listings even though their callsign is similar. i.e. iNDemand's PPV channels also start with PPV and do have listings, it's the generic PPV channels that don't.

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#14

Post by garyan2 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:01 pm

I'm working on code right now to make the warning suppression settable for each individual station. Originally on upgrading to the new release and/or saving, there will be a new attribute for each station to "SuppressWarnings". EPG123 will set the attribute to false for everything except channels with callsigns that start with "EDAC", "GOAC", ....

I could just make them all false and let the user handle setting them manually, but I have to play to lowest denominator on a lot of things.

Of note, I call this suppressing the warnings, but all I am really doing is changing if from a Warning to Information only entries.

Thanks for the additional possible callsign prefixes.
- Gary
Stomping out the Rovi disease, one media center at a time. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#15

Post by Space » Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:58 am

garyan2 wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:01 pm
...
EPG123 will set the attribute to false for everything except channels with callsigns that start with "EDAC", "GOAC", ....
...
As the example given above shows, some channels starting with PPV should be suppressed, but not all channels that start with PPV.

Perhaps make them patterns or regexs instead?

I would suggest making them anchored patterns, so that PPV will only match PPV, but PPV* will match anything starting with PPV. You can also use anchored regular expressions instead, but that may confuse some people, although it would be even more flexible.

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#16

Post by garyan2 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:08 am

Using your example, I understand that the importance of station PPV could be more important to you than PPV470, but why would we treat it any different than the others? Another way, if we were to suppress all the PPV* stations, why not PPV as well? The pattern will only be used on the initial save of the station to the config file, after that the user can change any station from false to true or vice versa.
- Gary
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#17

Post by glorp » Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:35 pm

garyan2 wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:01 pm
I'm working on code right now to make the warning suppression settable for each individual station. Originally on upgrading to the new release and/or saving, there will be a new attribute for each station to "SuppressWarnings". EPG123 will set the attribute to false for everything except channels with callsigns that start with "EDAC", "GOAC", ....

I could just make them all false and let the user handle setting them manually, but I have to play to lowest denominator on a lot of things.

Of note, I call this suppressing the warnings, but all I am really doing is changing if from a Warning to Information only entries.

Thanks for the additional possible callsign prefixes.
Just an idea, have the exclude from warnings channels be a comma-delimited list users can enter. That way there's not thousands of check/uncheck stations and the entire excluded list is easy to find and change at once. If the list is blank, warnings are enabled on all channels. So a field on the config dialog like:
Warnings Suppressed On: EDAC026,EDAC028,GOAC078,LOOR370,LOOR371

It would be easy to add these since they are presented as "failed to parse" messages in the logs that way.

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#18

Post by garyan2 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:02 pm

Space wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:58 am
I would suggest making them anchored patterns, so that PPV will only match PPV, but PPV* will match anything starting with PPV. You can also use anchored regular expressions instead, but that may confuse some people, although it would be even more flexible.
glorp wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:35 pm
Just an idea, have the exclude from warnings channels be a comma-delimited list users can enter.
It's a good thing I'm used to the iterative development process. I'm now convinced this a route to take with EPG123. I will have a element in the cfg file for station warning suppressions that will be pre-populated with "GOAC*,LOOR*,EDAC*,LEAC*,PEG*,LOAC*,PPV*,PUAC*,SPALT*". Users will be able to edit to their liking... empty will be "no suppression" and a '*' will mean all channels are suppressed for empty guide data.

Now I just have to rip out all that code I just completed and tested last night and go this route.

There is still a big question which kinda makes all this moot... should Schedules Direct do anything on their end to provide dummy/filler data?
- Gary
Stomping out the Rovi disease, one media center at a time. http://epg123.garyan2.net

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#19

Post by garyan2 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:02 pm

Invite out to @rkulagow to join the conversation.
- Gary
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#20

Post by glorp » Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:28 pm

garyan2 wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:02 pm
There is still a big question which kinda makes all this moot... should Schedules Direct do anything on their end to provide dummy/filler data?
Not really. If you want to get fancy, add a fill message option string for all channels on missing data.

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